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Yes, “someone pays.”

This morning I read a Twitter post about the success of Medicaid expansion which reported that 97% of Louisiana’s children now have some form of health insurance coverage. In a state which holds the dubious distinction of holding the average position of 49th for 29 years when ranked for child well-being, 97% coverage for health care is astoundingly significant!

Online comments about this achievement fascinate me — especially those that indicate the authors fail to understand two simple facts: 1) the well-being of Louisiana’s children predicts our state’s future and 2) rich or poor, every citizen receives more than they give.

One of the first comments a reader offered was a snarky, “someone pays.”

Absolutely. This is true. We likely all remember “TANSTAAFL”, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

Citizens pay taxes. Our elected officials choose how to redistribute collected taxes for the benefit of citizens.

For example, “Someone pays” for your fire protection. “Someone pays” for your police department. “Someone pays” for your roads. “Someone pays” for your hospital. “Someone pays” for your city park. “Someone pays” for all of the things that make this country great. “Someone” is all the adults in the room who pay taxes on income, purchases, and property.

Children are not employed and do not pay taxes. Do we deny them healthcare? Of course, not.

It’s not like children are a new thing. Your mayor was once a child. Your nurse practitioner was once a child. Your childhood teachers were former children! Whatever you think of them, your elected officials — the ones who hear complaints about government spending on children — were once children.

Even you were once a child. Sure our roads are bumpy, services are sketchy, and no one is entirely happy with our state’s use of collected tax dollars, but all of us are responsible for the well-being of Louisiana’s children.

In a state that grants tax credits to professional sports teams and movie studios that exceed the amount of state general funds expended for child welfare, surely, we can at least afford to celebrate this good news for Louisiana’s children: they have access to medical care.

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